Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Laser pointers

Laser pointers

From: Tom Dixon <tom.dixon>
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2002
Use of laser pointers on art works in public galleries has been
discussed previously on the list and I noted practical experiments I
carried out testing for damage to aged paper after extensive
exposure in controlled conditions.  I was unable to detect any
damage. While not allowing members of the public to use them in our
gallery, our voluntary guides, education staff and visiting teachers
seem to like them and I think they are a lesser risk than other
common pointing instruments--pens, pencils, fingers, walking sticks,
umbrellas, and etc--but some curators are suspicious that laser
pointers may one day be found to damage works.  A visiting Director
of a leading UK museum visited and commented that laser pointers
were dangerous and should be banned.

I'm asking the DistList if anyone is aware of any further research
either pro- or anti-laser pointers or if anyone can document an
incident of damage to a work of art, or to a visitor or staff
member, involving such a pointer being used by authorised
individuals.  The works of art in question in this instance are
Asian scroll paintings on temporary display.

Thomas Dixon
Chief Conservator
National Gallery of Victoria
Administration Centre
112 Macaulay Road
North Melbourne VIC  3051
+61 3 9208 0347
Fax: +61 3 9208 0249

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:60
                  Distributed: Tuesday, March 5, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-60-021
Received on Thursday, 28 February, 2002

[Search all CoOL documents]